Tribute to Doris Bateman
By Brian E. Gandy
Darlington County Historical Commission
What can be said about a lady whose love of history and genealogy is synonymous with whom she was as a person.
Doris possessed an understanding of the importance of history that far exceeds that most people. She had a unique way of looking at history; and for her, the importance of the cause was always greater than the investment. She did not mind “getting dirty” with the tasks that others did not want. For her, it was about the cause. From serving as president to the lowliest task that no one knew she had done, she was always willing to serve. She was a tireless supporter with her time, intellect, and her abilities. Often when she was physically not able to personally carry the torch, she was still there in the background, cheering on those that were. She was a truly a committed patron of Darlington County History and family names. History was personal for Doris, it was something that cut to the core of her existence and her lifetime commitment stands as a testimony of that commitment.
I also had the privilege of serving on the Darlington County Historical Society Board with Doris for many years. I can recall numerous instances where questions would arise about previous decisions or Board actions and members would lament not remembering or having quick access to the records. We would see Doris flip open in her binder and present everyone with the record of what transpired. She was always on point and ready to stand in the gap.
My mother, Doris Gandy, began working at the Historical Commission in the late 80’s and as a young man who was often there helping out, I remember Doris Bateman being very active in research and a regular Commission visitor. She had assisted the Commission on several projects prior to her having served on the Commission Board as Chairman from June 1995-June 2001. She returned to the Board in November 2005, and served until June 2010. It was during this term that the Board was active in bringing about the reprinting of the “Darlington County Pictorial History” and dedicating the historical marker at the Historical Commission. During the periods of time that Doris Bateman served on the Historical Commission Board, 32 Historical Markers were erected in the county.
Doris’s commitments go well beyond the Historical Commission. She served for many years as the President for the Old Darlington District Chapter, SCTG. She served several terms on the executive Board for the Darlington County Historical Society. She was very active in the annual Rhodes Family Reunion and was currently working towards a reprint of the “Rhodes Family History” book.